My Top 5 European Destinations

One of the most frequently asked questions I’ve been asked is, “What has been your favorite place so far?,” to which, I usually reply, “Don’t open that door.” All the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit have been great in their own way, but I obviously do have favorites, so here they are as of now:

Nice, France

Nice is a change of pace from a lot of other European cities: there isn’t particularly a whole lot to do, but who needs to get out when you can lie on the beach in the year-round mild weather? Nice is characterized by its colorful buildings, blue water and amazing views from Castle Hill. Not to mention, it’s a short bus ride away from Monaco, a small country with a big personality, known for its casino and grand prix.

What to do: walk up Castle Hill, get lost in Old Town and hop on a bus to Monaco.

You can read about my time in Nice here.

Budapest, Hungary

I was pleasantly surprised with how much there is to do in Budapest and although I didn’t stay long enough to do everything I wanted, I hope you don’t make the same mistake I did. Budapest is relatively cheap compared to other countries, with a one-way public transit ticket costing about $1 and most full meals costing well under $10. The night life is buzzing thanks to its historical ruin bars and pubs. The two different sides of the city have their own unique identities worth exploring individually.

What to do: walking tour where you major highlights like the castle district, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Chain Bridge, visit a ruin bar in the Jewish quarter and take a dip in one of the thermal baths.

You can read about my time in Budapest here.

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Dublin, Ireland

When I first thought of studying abroad, I asked my England-based friends if they would like to travel with me. Joe was the first to take me up on the offer, so I prioritized a trip with him likewise.

Thursday, 3 September: I took a train from where I was staying the last couple of days (outside of Worthing) and met up with Joe at Gatwick Airport and all our travels went smoothly. My Dublin-based friend, Rachel, was kind enough to pick us up from the airport and take us to our hostel in central Dublin. We briefly exploring the city before getting a drink and turning it in early.

Friday, 4 September: We had an early morning for our day trip to the northern coast. Our first stop was the Carrick-A-Rede rope bride: a simple suspension bridge with stunning views of the Irish coast and Scotland. After a quick lunch, we made our way to the highlight of the trip: Giant’s Causeway, a natural phenomenon of interlocking hexagonal rock formations emerging from the coast. I’ve wanted to go there for a while now and it was everything I expected and more (bar the rain and cold weather). Our final stop on the trip was an hour in Belfast. Although it was interesting, I like Dublin a lot more.

Saturday, 5 September: We participated in a free walking tour provided by our hostel (as well as several others). Highlights of the tour included Trinity College, Temple Bar (nightlife area, although it’s often confused with an actual bar in the area called Temple Bar), Christ Church and Dublin Castle. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny. From the tour, we went to the Guinness Storehouse, where learned about the process of making Ireland’s best-known beer and got a free pint ourselves. Later that night, we met up with Rachel and her boyfriend, Craig, who took us to several bars in Temple Bar. The town was especially buzzing as there was a Gaelic football game on a few hours before.

Sunday, 6 September: We walked around town some more on our way to the National Museum of Ireland. It was a little dry, especially since we learned a lot of Irish history on our walking tour, but at least it was free. Needless to say, we were both pretty tired from the week and decided to take it easy before having one more night out before returning home the following morning.

According to Joe, Ireland is a lot like England, but that didn’t stop us both from having a great time.

If you would like to see pictures of my journey, check out my album on Facebook here.

My next adventure: Copenhagen, Denmark!